Saturday, March 26, 2011

100 Facts About Me

So, as some of you know, I'm on Twitter. And lately, one of the 'trending topics' has been "100 Facts About Me". While I managed to resist literally sending out 100 tweets with facts about myself, I started thinking this might be a fun topic for a blog post, and a fun way for you guys to get to know me a little better.


Then keep reading.

100 Facts About Me.

  1. I'm a sucker for horror movies. Even the bad ones.
  2. I have a thing for purses. I can never have enough purses.
  3. Pizza is my all time favorite food.
  4. I'm kind of an emotional roller-coaster.
  5. I have a genuinely eclectic taste in music.
  6. I can't remember a time in my life without a pet. Or pets.
  7. When I was a kid, I desperately wanted a boa constrictor.
  8. The first book I ever finished was dedicated to my Mom, and was more or less an argumentative proposal of all the reasons that my parents should buy me said boa constrictor. Also, it was fully illustrated by yours truly.
  9. I'm a Apple girl for life. It's all I've ever owned, and it's what I grew up with.
  10. I started writing at a very young age. It's what I've always wanted to do.
  11. I am a better writer when I am reading.
  12. I love anything and everything related to Starbucks.
  13. I have kind of an obsessive personality. When I like something, I love it.
  14. I sometimes have this recurring nightmare about my teeth falling out/getting yanked out/rotting away. It's a big deal to me.
  15. I'm a worst-case-scenario kind of person. But I'm working on being more optimistic.
  16. I'm an avid picture-taker.
  17. I've never eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Peanut butter and honey all the way!
  18. I still watch Spongebob Squarepants.
  19. At 23 years old, I am still afraid of the dark, especially when I let my imagination run wild.
  20. I love BBQ sauce. On almost anything. Except desserts. Or breakfast.
  21. I am completely a dog person.
  22. I was a total tomboy growing up. Sometimes, I still am.
  23. I've never been out of the country. I'd love for that to change.
  24. I used to take piano lessons. I wish I had continued.
  25. Once I filmed a commercial. Well, my Dad filmed it. And it never aired. But at a very young age, I was printing up copies of little stories I wrote (and illustrated) and trying to sell them at garage sales. I figured a television spot was the next step to greatness. And, as I recall, I skipped a piano lesson to film it. (I conveniently didn't remind Dad to take me.)
  26. I cry. A lot. Sometimes even during particularly emotional commercials. Or just ones that I find particularly emotional.
  27. I love beer. I'm not sorry.
  28. I actually DO sometimes wish my life was a musical.
  29. I like to play video games.
  30. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.
  31. I'm an adopted only child, and my parents are fantastic.
  32. I cried during Barnyard.
  33. My first car was a Volkswagen Beetle.
  34. I know all the words to Barbie Girl. Still.
  35. I love thunderstorms.
  36. I'm not very good at multitasking. I can't talk on the phone and watch TV at the same time. I WILL get distracted. And I'm terrible at reading more than one book at once.
  37. I'm a creature of habit. Big time.
  38. I play the drums. But just casually.
  39. I'm addicted to texting. Probably literally.
  40. Chocolate is my weakness.
  41. I am extremely body conscious. In a negative way. It's something I'm working on.
  42. I want to live on a plantation. I think it'd be a great place to write—so much history. Plus they're beautiful.
  43. I feel more comfortable with my elders than my peers.
  44. I'm extremely nostalgic and I hate change. Usually.
  45. I collect movies. I have a ton of them.
  46. I don't know how to roller-skate. Or roller-blade. Or ice-skate.
  47. I used to play basketball. I wasn't terribly good, but I love the sport.
  48. My best birthday party ever involved a Shetland pony named Dr. Pepper and lots of pony rides. Also, a Littlest Pet Shop toy. It was a little cat with a purple ball of string. The cake was great, too.
  49. The older I get, the more squeamish I get.
  50. If I don't get enough sleep, I turn into a crazy, emotional, irritable basket-case.
  51. I didn't really learn how to do laundry until last year.
  52. I still don't really know how to cook.
  53. I hate confrontation. It makes me extremely uncomfortable.
  54. I pretty much have to sleep with at least one fan on (sometimes two). Really I only don't use one when I'm sick and running a fever.
  55. I still wear my high school ring. I'll retire it when I get my Aggie ring this fall. WHOOP!
  56. I've worn glasses since 6th grade, but I've only ever owned two pairs. I have an excellent track record with not breaking my glasses. I'm also probably legally blind without my glasses. My eyesight is awful.
  57. I'm not wearing pants right now.
  58. I don't have a single piercing. Not even my ears. Chalk that one up to laziness.
  59. Working in retail has made me that much more cynical about people and their level of integrity and respect in general.
  60. I love cloudy days and cool weather.
  61. One of my guilty pleasures is Paris Hilton. I just love her.
  62. I'm an expert napper.
  63. My absolute favorite musical is Fiddler on the Roof. (And I got to see it live while Topol was still playing Tevye! Best day ever.)
  64. I'm actually kind of a neat freak. It just...comes and goes. Sometimes I clean all night, just so I can wake up to a squeaky clean apartment.
  65. Puppies make my heart smile.
  66. I share my bed with my dog.
  67. I've had two dogs that were 'mine'. A Black Lab/German Shepherd mix named Cowboy, and a Boston Terrier named Tucker. Both are equally capable of taking up the entire bed.
  68. Music is a huge part of my life. It can cheer me up, or facilitate fits of crying, or make me feel like a total badass, or make me hunger for adventure, or make me feel nostalgic, or... Well, you get the idea.
  69. I have a serious fetish for shoes with extremely high heels and extremely pointy toes. So hot. But no, I have not mastered walking gracefully in them.
  70. I really love to vacuum.
  71. My two favorite contemporary authors are Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I am constantly trying to borrow their styles. For instance, I inherited my tendency to use sentence fragments from the brilliant Mr. King.
  72. I pride myself on an extensive vernacular.
  73. The thesaurus is my best friend. Mark Twain really did say it best—"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug."
  74. I take serious issue with people who refuse to see foreign films because they "don't like to read".
  75. I also take serious issue with people who refuse to read period.
  76. I'm allergic to cats. But that hasn't always been true. It makes me sad.
  77. Shrimp kind of grosses me out.
  78. Dieting has led me to discover a plethora of new dishes which I now enjoy frequently. But it isn't always easy. (Pizza is my absolute favorite food, remember?)
  79. I sing like a maniac in my car. It makes me feel like a rockstar, even when I can't hit all the notes.
  80. It drives me crazy when I can't think of the word or expression to describe how I feel.
  81. I love Uggs, and I don't care if you don't.
  82. I used to have a credit card. But not anymore. I'm not good at limiting my spending.
  83. When I'm enjoying myself, I can be in a place for hours. But when I get antsy, I will find a way to escape and entertain myself elsewhere.
  84.  I was a Girl Scout. But just for a little while. I didn't like it. Girls can be such bitches. (Pardon my French).
  85. I'm 1/4 Hispanic. Not that you could tell from my ghostly pale skin.
  86. I may be young, but I'm still a conservative Republican. Haters gonna hate.
  87. I've always lived in Texas, but only got my first pair of legit cowboy boots last year.
  88. Blue jeans are my favorite thing to wear.
  89. The only drug I ever tried was a cigarette. One time. It was the most disgusting thing I ever tasted.
  90. When I was a kid, my favorite toy was this awesome plastic Sabertooth Tiger. I used to bury him and my other dinosaurs in my Great Grandmother's front yard. One day, I buried him and forgot where. To this day, he remains somewhere in that old Texas dirt. And I still miss him.
  91. I have an overwhelming collection of stuffed animals. And I still keep a few on my bed. (Don't judge me.)
  92. I wish I could have Liam Neeson narrate my life. Anthony Hopkins would also be acceptable.
  93. My favorite show is The Simpsons. I think Homer is my secret soulmate.
  94. When I'm drunk, I morph into a crazy combination of Homer Simspon and Spongebob Squarepants.
  95. I'm kind of embarrassed that I'm sharing some of these things, now that I think about it.
  96. I'm actually quite shy most of the time.
  97. I've gone to five different colleges. Dallas Baptist University, Tarrant County Community College, Navarro College, Midland College, and finally Texas A&M. I have an Associate's in English from Navarro, and I'll be getting my Bachelor's in English from A&M.
  98. My concentration is Creative Writing and my minor is Sociology.
  99. I can't whistle.
  100. I love my family and my friends (and my dog!) more than anything.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Homeward Bound

Can I just say, a little vodka and orange juice sure will make a three hour flight more interesting. Especially when the orange juice is complimentary and you get to keep the mini vodka bottle.

This past week has gone by SO fast. Isn't that always the way of it? Vacations fly by and normal every-day life slinks by languidly while we wait for something exiting to come up again. From last Friday to this Friday, I've done so much. I've taken literally over a thousand pictures. I've been to a ton of places I'd never seen before, or only previously seen in photographs or on television. And right now, I'm looking down on mountaintops.

It's been an awesome experience.

I've walked all over New York City, I've seen Central Park, been on top of the Empire State Building, traipsed through Times Square (both day and night!) dined at Mesa Grill, tackled the subway (and not fallen over), been awestruck at the Met, and that's not even the half of it.
I'm sure this trip and subsequent photos will end up making their way into several posts. Theres just too much to cover in only one. And if I were to attempt such a thing, the outcome would probably be much longer than anyone would want to read.

And I've got way too many pictures to fit into posts, so instead of flooding you with ALL of my trip pictures here (seriously, over a thousand), I'll be uploading them to this blog's Facebook page so you guys can feel free to browse through them there. I'll post a link once I've had the chance to upload them.
New York City
Taken from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building.
Going home is bittersweet. In many ways, I'm ready. I miss my dog, and I suppose I'm a little homesick. This Texas girl isn't used to big city hustle and bustle. But at the same time, one week isn't nearly enough time to see and do all of the things I'd wanted to. Still, all good things must come to an end, and it's been one heck of a good thing.

I can't wait to share it with you guys.

I'm also pretty excited because I have decided to finally try my hand at scrap booking. I've wanted to for some time now, and this trip seems like the perfect excuse to start. I've got a lot of photos, receipts, tickets, and knick-knacks that I think are perfect scrap book fodder. So wish me luck! It'll be a whole new endeavor.

For now, I'm going to curl up with a book (The Town That Forgot How To Breathe, by Kenneth J. Harvey, in case you wanted to know) and hope this three hour flight flies by (no pun intended) smoothly.

Maybe I'll get another vodka and orange juice.
(I did get another vodka and orange juice.)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, March 11, 2011

Up In The Air

As I type this, I'm several thousand feet in the air (39,000, I believe the Captain just said), leaving DFW and headed to La Guardia.

"Excited" just does not quite cover it.

This is the first time I've flown in...years. And only the second time I've ever flown, at that. (The first time was a family vacation to San Francisco, but that's a story for another time.)

This also the first time I've ever flown alone. And the last time I flew, security checks weren't near as strenuous or stressful. I'm serious, with all the TSA agents roaming around, I was thrust back to high school when all it took was the principal looking at me to get me thinking, oh! I...I haven't done nothing wrong! Right?

I totally support the protection of us peoples here in the airport, and I definitely understand the why of it. But man, those people are so serious! I was standing in line, waiting to pour my worldly possessions into little plastic bins, waiting to disrobe and be declared not a terrorist, and I took one step too far past the line. I got a glare and had the wait-right-here sign pointed out to me. I was obviously a little lost, and I smiled (and probably blushed), promptly stepped back, and offered a nervous little, "Oh! Sorry..."

Not even a smile in return.

Now I get that these people are on their guard, but...really? I couldn't stand a job where I had to be serious all the time.

But I digress.

I managed to come through the security checkpoint with most of my dignity intact, and stopped a moment to put myself back together. I turned to wave at my parents—the only time so far I've felt anything but utter mind boggling excitement, which was only briefly replaced with a bout of separation anxiety—and then regrouped, gaped for a moment at the plethora of signs above me, and lit out to find my gate. Fortunately, it was almost literally right around the corner.

Once I had a good handle on where I needed to get back to, I decided it was high time to scrounge up a Starbucks. (That 5:45 alarm was brutal, and I was tired of yawning!)

I've never been to an airport Starbucks before, so I was a little bit excited about that. I got a tall cocoa cappuccino (a new favorite, for sure!) and a slice of cinnamon swirl coffee cake (delish!).

It didn't take me long to finish them. I was done with both before we started boarding. Which actually went really fast, at least in comparison to what I was expecting.

Finding my seat was easy enough. I shoved my backpack in the overhead compartment, plunked myself down in 25F, and commenced with staring out the window with a silly-excited grin on my face.

Thankfully we didn't have to sit around too long before we actually took off.

I'm not sure how long we've been flying now, maybe half an hour. Maybe not quite that. But honestly, so far I'm not feeling cabin fever yet. I keep going back and forth between writing this and childishly grinning as I count all the pools (EVERYBODY has a pool but ME!!!). And I love seeing all of the roads and plots of land. Very fun!

And on top of everything, the free in-flight film is The King's Speech, which I love! (Back in the purse you go, iPod! I don't need you after all!)

And now when I look out the window, I see the tops of clouds, and their shadows on the ground. So cool!

I keep taking photos with my phone (on airplane mode!). I just can't resist! Besides the flight back in a week, I'm not sure when the next time I'll fly is. That's my excuse, anyway.

I'm already working out how fast I'll be able to grab my backpack out of the overhead compartment when we land. So far, it's the coming and going that I'm anxious about. Making sure I get everything that's mine, finding baggage claim once we land in New York. And finding Matt at the airport. (I'll be the tourist gawking at everything, wearing the Texas A&M—aka the "I'm not from around here"—hoodie, Matt!)

I AM quite looking forward to stretching my legs once we land. Hopefully they're still with me when I stand up.

(Ooooh, turbulence!)

You know, when I first arrived at the airport, I really anticipated being nervous on the plane. I was just sure that take-off, that any little bump, that watching the wings tremble against the wind would have me on the edge of my seat, just praying we'd land in one piece and not on fire.

But actually, I'm not really nervous at all. I'm just excited. Beyond excited.

(Now the clouds are no longer sparse! I gotta say, it's awesome to be ABOVE the clouds. It kind of looks like snow!)

(And HEY! I just saw a plane way below us! It looks like a toy!)

Now that the movie's over, I feel free to assume that we've been flying for t least something like two hours. The time change is really throwing me off. We took off a little after ten, and now it's 12:41, but we haven't hit that magic time-change line, so even though we should touch down in...well, less than an hour, since we haven't skipped an hour ahead yet, I'm still thinking man! 2:25 is a long ways off! Fortunately that isn't true!

You guys won't get to read about my adventures in La Guardia in this post because I'll have to put my iPad away by then, but I'm sure I'll share it with you eventually. At the end of my trip, I'll have a whole other three hour stint being strapped to my chair, which means plenty of time to begin recounting the weeks events.

The Captain just came on and said we're about 35 minutes out!!! The excitement, she builds!

You know, I just had an epiphany. Of course my phone isn't going to recognize the time change. Not until it has some signal coming to it, which it doesn't. Neither does my iPad. (Airplane mode still!) so 1:12 might as well be 2:12, which means we are definitely ALMOST THERE!!!

The clouds have opened up again, there aren't too many now. Great view!

Captain says prepare for landing!!!

Ill see you guys on the other side!

Location:Somewhere in the Texas sky.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Road Trip Getaway

Sometimes you just need to get away.

And sometimes you just want to. A think a little combination of the two is what I had been experiencing for quite some time now.


Plan a getaway!

This is precisely what myself and my friend Megan did this past weekend. We planned it about a month in advance. I started saving up. And, of course, getting excited. (I mean, really excited.)

Our original plan had been to drive to Austin and just hang out. Grab a bite, see the sights, do some shopping. But then my life took a few turns, I started looking into graduate school, researching good programs. I turned up a good creative writing program at Texas State University in San Marcos.

San Marcos isn't a whole heck of a lot farther away than Austin and I was itching to check out the campus (I'd initially looked into Texas State when I was trying to decide where to transfer to after getting my Associate's) so I suggested that we add San Marcos to our road trip itinerary.

Lucky for me, Megan was all for it! Then the plan became a drive down to San Marcos, a look around the school, then driving back up and stopping through Austin for shopping and general fun on our way back to College Station.

Then I realized something. San Marcos has an outlet mall. A really great outlet mall. We're talkin' Pottery Barn, Neiman Marcus, Juicy Couture, Gucci, Fendi, Coach, Puma, Lacoste, Lucky, Ed Hardy, Calvin Klein, BCBGirls, Guess... Basically, I flipped out.

Since Megan was also up for shopping, our plan changed again. Austin got nixed completely.

Don't worry, Austin. We'll come back to you soon. 
Because you have a California Pizza Kitchen...It's only a matter of time.

New plan? Get an early start, drive down to San Marcos and check out the campus, then head over to the outlets to shop our little hearts out.

Saturday could not come fast enough.

When it did, I was up at six and ready to go at seven forty-five. I picked up Megan at eight, and after a pit stop to fill up the gas tank, we dropped by Starbucks for a morning pick-me-up. Then we were on the road.

The drive was really pleasant. It didn't seem too long, and it only rained on us a bit. By the time we made it to San Marcos, the sun was out and there was a great chill in the air. The perfect day.

We actually spent much more time checking out the campus than I thought we would. Megan was just as curious as I was, and spending two or so hours there gave me plenty of time to get a great first impression of the school. And take a lot of pictures. I mean, a lot.

And here they are! Apologies in advance; there's a ton of 'em.

This is the first building we saw. It's lovely!
Old Main again. We climbed a lot of steps on this campus!
I believe this is the back side of Old Main.
Welcome to Texas State University!
I don't know if it's easy to tell, but it just keeps going down!
Lots of steps and lots of trees!
This is the library, which we did go inside. It's lovely!
And on the 7th floor, they have some exhibits. Very fun!

Arial view of campus from the library!

The Bobcat. Texas State's mascot.
The Stallions. Just beautiful!
One more angle on The Stallions, because I love them!
One of my favorite buildings. Love the architecture style!
View #2 of the building I love!
My favorite huge tree!
I. Love. Trees.
Um, HOW cute are these little guys?
I seriously love this campus.
Look at this little guy! The only one who didn't flop into the water when I approached.
THIS is their theater! For plays and such! In the middle of the pond! Awesome.
So, again, obviously I went a little camera happy. And honestly, that's not even half the pictures. But I've already flooded you guys with plenty.

All in all, I really loved this campus. It's gorgeous, lots of trees, lots of shade. And very hilly! (My TOMS held up amazingly well, and we seriously did a ton of walking!)

We went on a Saturday, which is why there aren't any people in my pictures. It was really nice to be able to get a feel for the campus without being overrun. But I'm already planning on dragging my parents down to look again, and get more information, so I look forward to seeing how the place feels during the week when classes are going on.

After we finished checking out the campus, we were positively famished. We'd passed this adorable Saltgrass Steakhouse on the way in, so we decided to run back out to that. It's such a cool building! Apparently it used to be an old mill. And the view is great—you can see the river! I didn't get a great picture inside, but I got one of the outside.

When we left here, we were stuffed. Delicious!
Historical marker, hoorah!
We really enjoyed the break from walking, and the food was fantastic. We really took our time and enjoyed ourselves.

And after eating, we were more than ready to hit up the shops!

I only got a couple of pictures at the outlet mall. I'd intended to get more, but I got a little carried away with the whole shopping thing. But we walked all around the shopping center—it's outdoors, and the weather was lovely. It was absolutely a blast.
Our first stop. I was in hog heaven!
We went in to a ton of the stores, but mostly window shopped. It was just really fun to see what all they had. Though I won't lie, I found several things I want. I may be making a trip back soon!

After we finished shopping, we stopped by the Starbucks in the outlet mall to grab something to drink before the drive back home. I didn't get too many pictures because we were in a hurry to get back—we both had pups waiting at home for us!

Starbucks. A constant in my life. Delicious all over the world.
The drive back felt longer than the drive there. Probably because there's way more excitement involved in actually driving toward the destination as opposed to away from it. Still, it wasn't bad. And it wasn't too long.

And I slept like a baby.

It was a fantastic trip. A great way to let go of some stress, take some time to just enjoy ourselves. The perfect day-trip getaway. I can't wait to start planning the next one! Austin? Houston? San Antonio? Who knows!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy 40th Anniversary, Starbucks!

If you know me, you know I love Starbucks. And as such, I've been really enthused about all of the changes coming to my favorite coffee company. Not too long ago, Starbucks unveiled their new logo, and today—to celebrate their 40th Anniversary—the new logo made its way into stores across the country! And it brought friends!

There's a whole slew of new merchandise boasting the new Siren logo, new treats, new Starbucks cards, and new drinks! For a full list of 40th Anniversary merch, check out the Starbucks website.

The first thing I did when I walked in was check out the new displays. They were chock full of Tribute blend coffee and Tribute VIA, plus some new drink-ware—mugs and tumblers galore!

New displays! Hooray!
Happy 40th! Tribute blend for all!
Petites! Scrumptious little treats.
The Cocoa Cappuccino made its debut today, and if I do say so myself, it's quite delicious! It's got a great cocoa flavor, and it's very bittersweet. I loved it.

Trouble is, it's only available for a limited time. So I'm trying not to get too attached. It's really yummy, though. I definitely recommend it for those of you who, like myself, really enjoy a nice bitter cocoa flavor.

My cup and cup sleeve both boasted the new Siren logo, and I have to say, I really like it. I will still miss the old logo—after all, that's the logo I've always known, ever since my love affair with Starbucks began. But after seeing the new logo in action, actually on the cup, actually on merchandise, I really like its simplicity. It's very minimalistic, clean, and it means that Starbucks can stand on its logo alone; the words "Starbucks" and "Coffee" aren't necessary to identify it as a brand. Not too many companies can say that.

New logo, new sleeve!
My tall Cocoa Cappuccino and the new Siren!
Of course they didn't totally ditch the "Starbucks" name.
Old Siren, meet New Siren!
I paired my tall Cocoa Cappuccino with one of the new Starbucks Petites pastries, the Red Velvet Whoopie Pie. Oh, it was delicious. Simply delicious! And relatively guilt free! All of the Petites are under 200 calories! In fact, my Whoopie Pie was 190. And I'm serious, it was fantastic. In fact, just writing about it has got me craving another one. Bad.
Way too yummy, seriously.
As for the merch I picked up—I wanted to buy all of it! No lie! But...I couldn't afford that. So I 'limited' myself as best I could.

I picked up the new Siren logo mug, some Tribute VIA, and an adorable little tote! Oh, and the new cards, of course. I have every intention of going back for one of the tumblers and the Tribute ground coffee + canister. Awesome.

New cards! New magnets will be on my fridge soon. ;)
My new mug! And Tribute VIA!
My 'makeshift' VIA holder.
Starbucks tote!
Obviously, I had a great time checking out the new Starbucks stuff and wishing a happy birthday to the Starbucks siren. If you haven't had a chance to invite yourself to the festivities, I highly recommend that you do! I mean, you know, if you love Starbucks as much as I do. I can't wait to see where the next 40 years takes us!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Look at this! Look at what I'm doing!

I don't know about you, but 2011 is shaping up to be an amazing year for me. A few plans have changed. There have been a few bumps in the road. But so far, I am having a fantastic year. I've got a lot of really exciting things happening for me in the coming months. So exciting that I just can't resist sharing.

New York City

First up, Spring Break. Destination? New York City!

I fly out on March 11. I'm there for seven whole days. I leave a week later, on the 18th. I'm so excited I can't even explain. Not only will this be my first trip to The Big Apple, but I'm also going up to visit my friend, Matt. It is going to be awesome, epic, fantastic, amazing, and every other word for "best ever" you can come up with.

Our itinerary is pretty extensive. But more than being interested in the landmarks (though there are a few I simply MUST see), I'm the most excited about hanging out in the big city with my friend. A couple of other mutual friends will be there at the same time, and we have an evening of karaoke planned with them.

Some things on the agenda are Ground Zero, The Met, Rockefeller Center, the New York Public Library, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, the Empire State Building, Wall Street, SoHo, and Tiffany & Co. Be prepared for an over abundance of pictures when I get back.

I'm also excited about this trip because I'll get to play the part of an bona fide foodie when I go. We've already got reservations to Mesa Grill, where I plan to try the Spiced Rubbed Bison Filet, with corn, ancho chile sauces, and crispy red onion. My mouth is watering right this second. I'm also going to get to try authentic New York style pizza. Which I already know I'll love. Because let's face it, pizza is my favorite food. I'll also have another go at sushi, and indulge in some fabulous desserts.

It's going to be one of those experiences I'll never forget. I absolutely cannot wait.

My Birthday
I know, I know. I have one of these every year. And I'm turning 24—possibly one of the most anticlimactic ages I've turned so far. But this year is the year I finally have to renew my driver's license. So not only will I get a whole new picture (Exciting!), but I'll also finally have the big-kid license. Yes folks, though I'm a couple of years past twenty-one, I still have the "under eighteen" driver's license.

I'm taking that final step, that last rite of passage from vertical to horizontal.

It will be very strange.

So, odd as it sounds, I'm marking this years' birthday as one of my Big Events of 2011.

New Orleans

Next up, summer vacation! What better time to take a road trip than over the summer? Again I'll be teaming up with Matt, and this time we're hitting the road. Destination? New Orleans!

We're hoping to drop by Shreveport as well.

I'm so excited to actually see New Orleans. I've gotten really intrigued by the South lately, particularly the deep South. And places like New Orleans. And a piece I'm working on, one I'm hoping to turn into a novel, is set in the South. It's a horror/thriller (I hope!) set on a plantation. I've never been to a plantation. That is going to change this summer. One of our stops is going to be at a plantation. We aren't 100% sure which one, but I'm really hoping to visit Oak Alley Plantation. (Google it. It's gorgeous.)

And then, of course, Bourbon Street. And I am already excited just thinking about all of the amazing pictures I'm going to take.

Both New York and Louisiana are going to provide some excellent opportunities to not only get my creative writing juices flowing, but also to expand my horizons as far as photography goes. I'm so thrilled at the chance to photograph things that aren't exactly in my neck of the woods, if you know what I mean.

Ring Day
This one belongs to my friend. MINE will say '11. :)
And then, in...probably November—I can't say for sure yet—I'll finally be getting my Aggie ring! I don't know about you guys; I'm not sure if college rings were a huge deal for you or not, but it's massive to me. There are a couple of reasons for this.

First, I've been working on my undergraduate work for about six years. I started off slow, unsure of what I wanted to do, so I'm not angry that it's taken so much time. But to me, my Aggie ring means more than just credit hours and attendance. It means I finally found a school I'm proud to graduate from. I'm proud to be a student here and I'll be proud when I'm an Alumni, and I'll be proud every day to wear my Aggie ring so the whole world will know—I'm an Aggie. I did it. I graduated.

But also, the Aggie ring is a huge deal down here in Aggieland. We have Ring Day, and ring dunks, and countless other traditions that go along with getting the coveted Aggie ring. Needless to say, I can't wait.

Next, in December, I'll be graduating! I had originally planned to graduate in May, but there were a few kinks in that plan. But honestly, with the way this year is panning out, I'm fine with graduating in December. It gives me more time to visit the career center, plan for what I want to do after I graduate, research graduate schools (which is a total headache, by the way).

I think it's so convenient the way all of my big events are spread out over the course of the year. I've got something to look forward to the entire time. No one big event, no one big thing that comes and goes and leaves me wanting more. At the end of everything is the prospect of something more; something exciting and new on the horizon.

2011 is my year, and I plan to live it UP.

I can't wait to bring you guys along for the ride.